As a community we just experienced a series on lament as an expression of faith. It was mostly “personal” in focus, but the Lord also calls us to corporately lament evil, injustice—anything short of his kingdom and his glory. And now, in light of ongoing and recent events, we invite you to do that via the prayer below.


This prayer is long and rich and it may take extended time for you to be fully immersed in it; to that end, feel free to come back to it, use it for your personal devotional time, or work through it however you feel led as together we pray in the fullness of God’s Kingdom.

A Prayer of Lament and Repentance for Racism


“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, and in our nation, as it is in heaven.


Lord, as we reflect on your kingdom, these thoughts come to mind:


Light-We give thanks and praise to you Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.


Righteousness, Peace and Joy-Lord, your Word teaches us that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.


Justice-Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.


Lord, we bring our heartache and pain to you, as we have witnessed and heard about acts of violence and hatred against our brothers and sisters of color in the past several weeks, months and many years in this nation’s history.


We lament the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past week.  We cry tears of grief with his family and cry out on behalf of all people of color, who once again experience acts of aggression, oppression and murder.  How long oh Lord, how long?


How long will prejudice and racial bias result in misinterpreting situations and result in wrongful actions and reactions?  Christ, have mercy!


We lament the violence and chaos that has erupted as demonstrations have become violent.  Lord, have mercy!


We repent of ways we have participated, knowingly or unknowingly, in the sin of racism (thinking lower of a person or group of people or harboring hatred toward them, based on the color of their skin.)  We acknowledge that racism is “not a skin problem, it is a sin problem”, and so we ask you Lord to search our hearts and reveal if any of these things are present:


Have I fully loved God and fully loved my neighbor as myself?

Have I caused pain to others by my actions or my words that offended my brother or my sister?

Have I done enough to inform myself about the sin of racism, its roots, and its historical and contemporary manifestations? Have I opened my heart to see how unequal access to economic opportunity, jobs, housing, and education on the basis of skin color, race, or ethnicity, has denied and continues to deny the equal dignity of others?

Is there a root of racism within me that blurs my vision of who my neighbor is?

Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and I did or said nothing, leaving the victim to address their pain alone?


Allow Time for Personal Reflection and Repentance Aloud, as encouraged in James 5:16: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.


Father, we thank you for your forgiveness and we receive it.  We pray that you would cause your church across this nation to enter into intentional and sustained repentance and prayer, for the healing of our land, trusting in your promise “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.


We pray that your church would reflect the characteristics of your kingdom: light, love, righteousness, peace, joy and justice.


We praise you for the promise that you,God, will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.


Today Jesus, we remember your words that “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.”  We welcome you Holy Spirit.  We welcome you to bring truth in our country.  We ask you to bring a mighty testimony to Jesus, through your church at this time.


Father, you have always intended for your children to act as lights in dark places, to bring love that drives out fear and to love each other deeply for love covers over a multitude of sins.  Lord, help us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Empower us to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with you day be day.


We pray for your kingdom to come more fully here on earth. Rule and reign in our lives.


We welcome the Holy Spirit to fill us afresh today, working in and through us, bringing peace and racial reconciliation in our neighborhood, in our nation, and the world, for your glory, forever and ever, In Jesus’ name, Amen!

During the Stay-At-Home season that we’re currently in, the Gold Avenue Church pastors and leadership have been seeking the Lord on what this season looks like for us as a church congregation.  The weekly sermons, ongoing communication, and these Equipping Corner pieces are just some of the ways that we can engage with one another and the Lord.


In this video of the Equipping Corner, Pastor Gina digs into our response to lament with some suggestions for checking in with “How is your soul?” during this season.  As we learn more about lament, sometimes it is beneficial to hear what practices other people have found helpful.  In this video, Pastor Gina shares two prayer practices she has used.

We hope you will try out these practical prayer suggestions.  As mentioned on Sunday in the At Home Liturgy and sermon audio, if you would like to talk with someone, we are here for you!  Pastor Jaleesa would welcome your call, email or text.  We also have prayer appointments starting to happen over Zoom, so if you feel stuck, please reach out.

Pastor Gina has recorded a second video around the theme of Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”  Some of us have recurring negative thoughts or questions that are interfering with our peace, and which take our attention away the Lord.  For others, we may find ourselves lacking the joy that we normally might experience day to day.

In this video, Pastor Gina teaches a way to focus on what you know to be true of God, through the practice of taking a Worship Walk.

As the days get longer and the weather gets a little nicer, we hope you will take a Worship Walk and let us know how it goes for you.  Feel free to email us a note and send in photos from your walks.  For anyone who says that they can’t sing or don’t know many Christian songs, you can substitute naming characteristics of God as you make your way through the alphabet.  All these are acts of worship and help us to “be still and KNOW that I am God.”  Be blessed!

Earlier sermons on God’s mishpat/justice explained that God’s justice includes his restoration of the whole created order. In Romans 8:22-27, Paul explains that all of creation, particularly we believers who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly, as we eagerly await the fulfillment of God’s promises. So also the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, groans! What is this groaning? In large part, it is an outflow of the fact that so much in this world, and in our lives, is not “as it should be,” nor as it will be when God brings the full redemption has promised. As we live in between the times, when the kingdom is here, but not fully here, God graciously gives us the language of lament to express our faith in him, and the coming of his kingdom (Rev. 21:4-5) in its fullness.


In the following video, Pastor Dave continues to introduce the topic of our upcoming sermons on Lament as an Expression of Faith.



Each week we will fill in the links below as we have the posts, so that if you want to listen to all of the sermons together you are able.  We hope that you are blessed and that your faith is strengthened!
Lament as an Expression of Faith Sermons:
4/19/20  Psalm 13  – Wrestling With God When we Feel Forgotten
At Home Liturgy Link: AHL 4/19
Sermon Link: Sermon 4/19

Gold Avenue Church leadership has been noticing a recurring invitation from the Lord over the past few weeks. He seems to be calling us to be still in a time that is filled with uncertainty.  It’s important to pay attention to verses, songs, and themes that continue to come up in prayer and conversations. Often the Lord will speak to us through these consistent pieces and then it is important to ask the Lord to show us how He would have us respond. 


Watch this video from Pastor Gina where she shares about how to quiet yourself in God’s presence, as she reflects on Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”



We pray you will be intentional in letting go of things that interfere with being quiet and still before the Lord. We trust we will all be strengthened and refreshed in His presence.  Enjoy listening to the song “Be Still” by Hillsong Worship.



An Excerpt on Justice from the Confession of Belhar 

Friends, you are invited to take some time to read and reflect on each confessional point today.  Perhaps read them aloud as a prayer of declaration to the Lord and ask Him to use your life, your gifts, time and treasure to serve as an agent of Kingdom justice.    

  1. We believe
  • that God has revealed himself as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people;
  • that God, in a world full of injustice and enmity, is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged; 3
  • that God calls the church to follow him in this, for God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry;
  • that God frees the prisoner and restores sight to the blind;
  • that God supports the downtrodden, protects the stranger, helps orphans and widows and blocks the path of the ungodly;
  • that for God pure and undefiled religion is to visit the orphans and the widows in their suffering;
  • that God wishes to teach the church to do what is good and to seek the right (Deut. 32:4; Luke 2:14; John 14:27; Eph. 2:14; Isa. 1:16-17; James 1:27; James 5:1-6; Luke 1:46-55; Luke 6:20-26; Luke 7:22; Luke 16:19-31; Ps. 146; Luke 4:16-19; Rom. 6:13-18; Amos 5);
  • that the church must therefore stand by people in any form of suffering and need, which implies, among other things, that the church must witness against and strive against any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream;
  • that the church as the possession of God must stand where the Lord stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged; that in following Christ the church must witness against all the powerful and privileged who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others.

Therefore, we reject any ideology

  • which would legitimate forms of injustice and any doctrine which is unwilling to resist such an ideology in the name of the gospel.

Synod 2017 adopted the Belhar Confession as a contemporary testimony for the Christian Reformed Church.  It is a beautiful statement of unity in Christ and His Kingdom. To read the entire document click this link.

Have you found yourself wondering what God might be up to in this unique season? Check out these thoughts from Pastor Dave, who is safely home from his trip to Israel!  Thanks be to God! 


Reflection Questions:

Take some time to press in to invitation you’ve just received. Spend some time praying, waiting on the Lord, and even journaling through these questions:

Lord, what are you doing in this season?

Lord, what do you have for me in this season?

Lord, how do you want to redeem this time?

Lord, how would you have me cooperate with you?

Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and workFor I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. Haggai 2:4
When we heard these words that Pastor Dave preached a few weeks ago, we heard that the people of Judah felt weak and had challenges coming up against them, and yet God was calling for them to take steps of faith to carry on the work of rebuilding the temple.  I’m guessing most of us have felt weak as we have faced the challenges of this past week, and yet God has been with us.  He has met us in our disappointments and all our concerns, and has been strengthening us to carry on in His kingdom work, often supported by the prayers of others!
Thank you Gold Avenue Church family for being faithful and strong in the face of much uncertainty and engaging the work of embodying, proclaiming and advancing God’s Kingdom these last few weeks.  You are using your gifts and faithfully serving despite our facility being closed:  
  • You are checking in on one another by phone, text, FaceTime or messaging.  
  • You are praying more often and with more fervor for our neighborhood and the world, particularly praying for revival.
  • You are brave nurses and other front line services, along with Nick who remains on mission in Africa, carrying on serving others.
  • You are reaching out to your neighbors and sharing the hope of Jesus with strangers.
  • You are adapting to changed schedules and seeking to love your children and help them adjust to the many unsettling changes with school and social distancing (which can be so hard!)
  • A number of you are using your gifts of music, writing, and prophecy to encourage others by means of FaceBook posts. 
  • Some have contacted us offering helpful resources to the church. 
  • The discipleship team is creatively thinking of new ways to connect.
  • The Gold Rush team is preparing to resume youth group via Zoom.
  • The admin elders are prayerfully discerning the current situation while also considering how to love our church and neighborhood well with our facility in the future, as they consider a new ministry proposal.  
  • The deacons continue to monitor and serve the needs of our church and community, even as they think ahead about needs that may be coming.
  • The care elders are doing a fantastic job of checking in with people and also praying faithfully for our congregation.
  • Our volunteer worship leaders are continuing to plan meaningful worship services using the new At Home Worship Liturgy, even blessing a church in the UK this past week!
There are many more stories that I could share, but I want to take a minute and ask you to thank the Lord along with me for the gift of our 3 urban missionaries:  Mark, Stephanie and Pastor Jaleesa.  They have put in several weeks of very long hours, using their gifts, skills and backgrounds, to help put technology and strategies in place, with help from Justin Blake, that will help our church remain a strongly connected community now, and will serve us so well long into the future.  Their joyful servant leadership is a great model for us all, and so please consider how you might bless them with a word of thanks, a contribution to their fundraising efforts, and/or most certainly praying for them regularly.  
In Haggai, the Lord repeatedly says “give careful thought to your ways.  As I met online with a group of pastors this week from all around the country, we were encouraged to reflect on history.  At times of great trouble and even past quarantine, God has brought forth amazing gifts-books, songs, prayers and stories of sacrificial love that have advanced God’s kingdom and served as inspiration for Christians through history (the disciples, Paul, Luther, the early church caring for the sick during the plague, Bonhoeffer, CS Lewis, Corrie tenBoom, etc…). 
Church family and friends, I believe the Lord will gift you and will use us together in mighty ways if we will earnestly seek Him.  This could be the church’s finest hour, if we will humble ourselves, pray, turn from any wicked ways and seek God’s face.  As together we devote ourselves completely to the Lord, I believe we will see the gospel of Jesus Christ transform our lives, our neighborhood and the world. To God be the glory, now and forever, Amen!
With prayerful anticipation,
Pastor Gina 

Good Morning! Watch and follow along in your own Bible as Pastor Gina reads and reflects on Psalm 91. This video originates from FaceBook; we welcome you to comment there with some of your own reflections on the Psalm.

This post is part of a new series of encouraging words from our Church Leadership. Keep an eye out for more!